Some days ago, Finland’s government was protesting against the fact that Germany and France should not take the EU leadership. So we were expecting strong Finnish positions after Trump refused to confirm US commitment to European defense through NATO and announced that he was not supporting the commonly agreed policy concerning climate change. But there has not been any official reaction of the Finnish government
On the opposite, Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered one of her most outstanding foreign policy statements which had a strong impact in the international press. She declared:
“The times when we could totally rely on others are partly over. I have lived it in recent days “, she said on Sunday, after the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy. “We, the Europeans, must really take charge of our own destiny […] Of course, we have to remain friends with the United States, the United Kingdom, good neighbors, wherever possible, as well as with Russia. But we must know: we must fight for ourselves, as Europeans, for our future and our destiny ”
The declarations of Jürgen Hardt, Member of Parliament and coordinator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for transatlantic relations were also extremely bitter: “What we experienced at the summit is not what we expect from an American president, either intellectually or in terms of the potential of America […] The US president has missed a great opportunity to showcase his power of guidance in the world. ”
Germany, who has been the strongest US ally in the EU (remember the Marshall Plan, the airlift (1948-1949) or the famous speech of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Berlin in 1963 (“Ich bin ein Berliner“) is now feeling that these times are finished, and America now seems far away in the eyes of Angela Merkel.
So, with this situation which is going to shape the fate of Europe and the EU in the next future, what is the position of Finland? Difficult to know, as our government behaves as if nothing happened. We fight over the famous social and health system reform (SOTE), or against or for the sales of strong alcohol in supermarkets, but we avoid the EU topic, even if our neighbors from Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland have already reacted by asking for more EU defense initiatives.
The fact that our foreign affairs minister is Timo Soini, from the populist party Perussuomalaiset (Basic Finns Party), and the ministry of European Affairs Sampo Terho… from the same populist party, shows how important Finland’s government considers what happens in the EU or in the world, when everyone knows that Soini and Terho are not recognized as equals by their peers on the international scene.